music

There's an emblematic photograph of Herbie Hancock on the back cover of his album Sunlight, which he began recording 40 years ago this month. He's depicted against a red backdrop with a Sennheiser vocoder headset on his cranium, which is bowed in deep focus.

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber / a2ychamber.org

It's said music has healing powers, and, later this month, the Ypsilanti Community Schools is having a special event intended to both entertain and improve the health of the community.  

We spoke with YCS superintendent Dr. Benjamin Edmondson and Dr. Wanda Whitten-Shurney, CEO and Medical Director of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America/Michigan Chapter, about the upcoming "Jazz in the Parking Lot" event.   


For a gift of $200 to WEMU, you and a guest can join the whole WEMU crew with a pair of tickets for the Blues Barbecue Thursday, June 1st, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. featuring Laith Al-Saadi.  The concert and picnic will be held outside of the EMU Convocation Center patio (inside in case of rain).  Note: due to the potential for record attendance, tickets will be mailed after pledge is paid instead of the traditional names at the door. Please indicate the barbecue as your premium choice when you make your gift as this is a ticket event, rather than a bonus.

Marilyn Gouin

You know fall is well under way when WEMU’s free 5:01 Jazz shows start back up.  We are honored to kick off the series with the Andy Adamson Quartet on Friday, October 7th at Rush Street Nightclub, in Ann Arbor. 

Today is International Jazz Day, which you can celebrate with five great jazz performances at the Tiny Desk and a list from Christian McBride — plus a newly unearthed studio recording by a short-lived version of the Bill Evans Trio.

Friday, February 5th 89.1 WEMU is proud to present The Sheila Landis Quartet at The Rush Street Nightclub for our next free Sesi Motors 5:01 Jazz show.  Although it has been  a while since Sheila performed at one of our shows, she has a long and rich history with WEMU.  Sheila discovered her passion for jazz singing in 1973 and has been a stalwart of Detroit jazz since the 1970s.  

Terence Blanchard
Henry-Adebonojo/ Courtesy of the artist

Terence Blanchard is no stranger to Detroit as the 2015-16 Jazz Creative Director for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and was the 2012 Artist in Residence for the Detroit Jazz Festival. This Sunday, January 24th trumpeter, composer, arranger Terence Blanchard returns to Detroit for two performances at Cliff Bell’s Nightclub.

Glenn Tucker Determination
Courtesy Cybelle Codish / Detroit Music Factory

89.1 WEMU and Sesi Motors present the 5:01 First Friday Series dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Jan Winkelman. Join us for a 5:01 celebration of music featuring the Glenn Tucker Trio + 1 at Rush Street in Ann Arbor on January 8th.

 

Kevin Ransom Ann Arbor
Courtesy Photo

Members of Ann Arbor's renowned folk and blues scene came together Monday night to help longtime local music writer Kevin Ransom.  A set of debilitating health problems have music critic Kevin Ransom close to losing his home. 

When listeners aren't writing to NPR to comment on a story, they mostly just want to know what music was played between segments. We call those buttons or breaks or deadrolls, and they give a breath after reporting a tragedy, lighten the mood after you most definitely cried during StoryCorps, or seize a moment to be ridiculously cheeky. How could you not play Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" following a story about why women shiver in the office?

Lots of magazines do big lists, but few rely on them as heavily as Rolling Stone does. The magazine cranks out a list for just about every aspect of popular music. All promise authoritative, canonical overviews of various elements of the art; at their best, these offer context and critical insight, helping readers fill gaps in their knowledge.

marcusbelgrave.net

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Detroit trumpeter Marcus Belgrave has passed away at age 78. Belgrave died at in a care and rehabilitation facility, Ann Arbor's Glacier Hills. His partner, singer Joan Belgrave, said he died in his sleep. 

Shari Kane and Dave Steele
courtesy of the artist

Warm and delicious as hot buttered cinnamon toast, as easy and relaxed as a rewarding after-dinner talk and as soothing as Sunday morning.  That’s my immediate reaction to Feels Like Home, the new album by Shari Kane and Dave Steele.  It’s a perfect complement to the couple’s first recording, Four Hands Blues.  They continue their loving exploration of classic American music including Piedmont and Delta blues along with mountain gospel, Appalachian ballads and ragtime swing guitar.  What differentiates Feels Like Home from Four Hands Blues is the home setting.  Shari and Dave actually built a home studio and took their good sweet time working through each song as we eavesdrop on their intimate conversation involving call and response from acoustic guitar to mandolin to voice.  

courtesy of the artist

Alberto Nacif, the former and founding host of the program Cuban Fantasy has every reason in the world to be proud of Invisible, the new CD by his Latin jazz ensemble, Aguankó. He joined me in studio to discuss his partnership with fellow percussionist Jose Pepe Espinosa and his deep admiration for Michigan's great musicians including Marcus Belgrave, Rick Roe, Robert Hurst, Russ Miller, Chris Smith and Anthony Stanco. 

Clark Terry, Marcus Belgrave
Wikimedia Commons

When NEA Jazz Master, trumpeter Clark Terry passed away on February 21st, 2015, the jazz world was in mourning.  The mourning did not last long however, as tributes to Terry’s ebullient personality, musical mastery and generous nature as a mentor and jazz educator sprang from all around the globe.  I called trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, Detroit’s senior jazz statesman for his thoughts on Clark Terry’s jazz genius.  


Jim McGuire / courtesy of the artist

Throughout 2015, The Ark will present many special concerts to celebrate their 50th Anniversary.  The first of these is this Sunday at the Power Center, featuring the husband and wife banjo duo of Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn.  


Join WEMU in celebrating Thanksgiving in a few different ways this year. Unwind while you're cooking your holiday feast, and listen in to Linda Yohn for a heft serving of Stuffy Turkey, Grits and Gravy, Sweet Potato Pie, and all of your other musical food favorites! 

    Listen to all of your favorite weekend programs from Saturday 11/22/2014 and Sunday 11/23/2014. This includes full versions of The Roots Music Project, The Groove Yard and The In Crowd with Jessica Webster that are only available online.

    Get ready for trick-or-treat season with these spooky tunes.

    89.1 WEMU and Sesi Motors present the 5:01 First Friday Jazz Series dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Jan Winkelman.

    Join us for a 5:01 pm celebration of music and fun at Rush Street.  We will return to Rush Street, 314 South Main between Liberty and William Streets in Ann Arbor.  

     

    Listen to our interview earlier this week with drummer and singer Leonard King. King visited the WEMU studio to discuss his major project:  The Lyman Woodard Organization For the Arts.  In the 1970s Leonard joined the group led by Detroit organist Lyman Woodard and became a major player in Detroit jazz, soul, blues and dance music.  Leonard reminisced  warmly about Lyman Woodard's important and inspirational position in Detroit musical history as well as his own. 

    Walter White
    Walter White

    Labor Day weekend is not generally considered an optimum time to release a new record, but for Detroit jazz musicians; there is no better time to showcase your new music than at The Detroit Jazz Festival which starts this Friday, August 29th.  Trumpeter Walter White has taken advantage of this auspicious time to release and celebrate his latest offering Most Triumphant on Summit Records.  His CD release concert will be Sunday, August 31st at 2PM on the Waterfront Stage.

    Walter White is held in highest regard worldwide for his early work with Bob James, Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, The White-Margitza Quintet and The Mingus Big Band. After making significant musical marks in New York City and Miami, Walter White returned to his home state of Michigan where he remains incredibly musically active.  He performs in shows at The Fisher Theater, leads international clinics and master classes, teaches at Oakland University and now records for Summit Records.  

      

    Walter joined Linda Yohn at WEMU to talk about Most Triumphant which boasts a trio Detroit jazz luminaries:  pianist Gary Schunk, bassist Miles Brown and drummer Sean Dobbins.  Walter shared insight about his early musical life in Ferndale Michigan, his love of Maynard Ferguson, his formative years at The Julliard School Of Music, his philosophy of musical practice and his early association with The Detroit Jazz Festival 35 years ago.  

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